Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BookBuzz Awards!

Hello everyone,

A Chasing After the Wind has recently been nominated for the BookBuzz Prize Writer Contemporary Fiction Vote! If you can spare just two minutes, please click here and vote for me!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Southern American Sniper

Aphorism of the day: “Don't think about it. Think, and your actions will betray your thoughts. Don't feel bloodlust. Keep a calm heart. Move forward. Fire!” ―Mohiro Kitoh

"Act and you shall have dinner; Wait and you shall be dinner."  Klingon proverb

GUNS—A few statistics.

270 million civilian firearms in America—almost one per person.
80 million gun-owning citizens in America—about 4 weapons per person.
10 million concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits in America.
20 million illegal aliens. How many have weapons or get weapons once here?
2.2 million in prison.
2 million violent crimes committed each year.

Regardless of all the statistics, we know that most guns are not registered and that most who carry weapons do not have a permit. The major problem with the millions that carry a weapon for self-defense is they DO NOT PRACTICE. Typically, they buy a weapon, a pistol or a revolver, or it’s handed down when someone in the family dies, and they stick it in the top of their closet in a box on a shelf, hide it under their mattress, or in an old shoe, etc. Or they decide to go legal. They go to a one- or two-day school, fire their weapons, get a permit, and carry it around concealed for a month or two, until it’s too much trouble. Soon it’s back in the box on the shelf or stashed under your car seat. When was the last time you fired your weapon? Some of you still have the same dirty and rusty gun handed down from grandpa with 30-year-old bullets still in it. Is that what you’re going to search for when you hear broken glass or your door being kicked in? Don’t get me wrong; I’m as guilty as you are. I don’t practice enough for the violent city I live in.

Many a night, after cutting my reading light off, I lay there thinking, “What if?” Then I build a simulated situation: I’m awakened by an unusual noise, broken glass, someone kicking the door in, and sometimes I imagine the intruder is ringing the doorbell or he’s knocking on the door at 2 a.m., each scenario is different.

I practice my routine: Tonight it’s broken glass from the window. First, I reach under the pillow next to mine (I’m single, sleeping alone) and remove my Colt 1911. No need to check it, my hand knows every part intimately; there is always one in the chamber. It’s not my carry weapon but my go-to gun. It is deadly quiet. I hear the intruder unlock the window latch in the next room, raise the window, and his feet crunch on the broken glass. I slip on my pants and running shoes (can’t imagine being in a naked gunfight) and stuff my cell phone in my pocket and wait. I have a flashlight on the bedside table but leave it there; why let him know where I am? I know every inch of this house in the dark; it’s my territory. I hear him stumbling around and see the reflection of his flashlight now in the hallway as it crosses the living room wall. My heart feels like it’s trying to break out of my body. I shout, “I have a gun! I have called the police! Leave this house immediately!” I see his flashlight jerk quickly to the bedroom hallway, the beam shining on the wall, growing larger and larger. He’s coming into my bedroom; does he have a gun, a knife, maybe a baseball bat? I ease backward across the dark bedroom to the other side of the bed and kneel, my left arm stretched out over the bed, palm up, and lower the three pounds of steel into my cupped hand. My left hand rolls up the side of the grip, each finger laced between the fingers of my right hand, my left thumb rested on top of my right thumb stretched out along the side of the cold barrel. It is all one unit now, the gun useless with my hands, and my hands useless without the gun. I hear the intruder stumble again, the floor lamp crash to the floor and a stifled mumble. Is he drunk, stoned, or strung out on drugs? I take a deep breath while my right thumb pulled the hammer all the way back until it clicks, the sound exploding inside my head. I blink my eyes and he’s standing there, his dark body mass blocking all the dim lighting of the door opening. I could hear his heavy breathing as he searches the bedroom with his flashlight. I point my .45 automatic just right of his flashlight, narrow my focus two hands above his navel, and slide my finger into the trigger housing . . .

OKAY . . . what are you going to do?

Being a former Marine, I’ve fired many weapons and was trained to kill my enemy, like every Marine. NOT to wave my gun in the air, fire a warning shot, or to shoot someone in the leg. How many of the ten million-plus that has a permit to carry a concealed weapon is willing to kill someone? A permit to carry a gun is for one reason: to kill . . . what else do you think it’s for, to scare someone, to make you feel safe? If you’re not willing to do this, you shouldn’t be carrying a weapon. Forty-six U.S. states have adopted the stand-your-ground/castle doctrine law. Under such laws, there is no-duty-to-retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be—his home, his car, his place of work—and may use any level of force, including lethal, if they reasonably believe they face an imminent and immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death. This concept was established as English law by the 17th-century jurist Sir Edward Coke, in his The Institutes of the Laws of England, 1628: “For a man's house is his castle, et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium [and each man's home is his safest refuge].

What would I do? Honestly, I hope I never have to experience the above simulated situation I created, but it happens, everyday. 3.7 million home invasions average every year, so why not practice? I won’t avoid my own question. The first thing I would do is retreat . . . if possible. Find a way to leave, to get out, run, run, run. I’m no longer a Marine or a law enforcement officer; it’s not my job to kill someone. My job is to stay alive, not to exhaust my life savings and spend the rest of my life defending myself from criminal and civil lawsuits. There’s no way you can come out on the good side after killing someone. I don’t care how right you are. BUT, if there’s nowhere to go, no way to retreat, or your wife and children are in the house, whatever, remember—YOU HAVE NO DUTY TO RETREAT—do not hesitate, focus, pull the trigger, triple tap, center mass.

Both sites below have to do with gunfire. Beware, the first video is very real and may be too intense for some viewers, but if you have any interest in self-protection, guns, or conceal carry, the video and the podcast are great learning lessons 
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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this blog or website is legal advice. The author accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. His objective is to provide you with useful, interesting, and sometimes humorous information. From time to time he will slip-up and unintentionally write something incorrect or offensive; please let him know if this occurs. Although a former Marine, the author is still a wee bit old-fashioned on using rough language.